Once upon a time, not that long ago (but more than long enough!) I would spend a huge amount of time, money and effort on health, beauty, nutrition and fitness.

I’d spend 2.5 hours a day in the gym and a fortune on make-up, beauty products, designer clothing, the lot!

I didn’t really think about it at the time and it wasn’t until I hit the mental health deck with a crash, aged 35, that I stopped and started to consider life from a very different perspective. 

From my point of view, I’d followed the rules and looked after myself. I’d done everything I’d been told to do to feel good and physically, I did. I was in excellent shape. Life should have been great. It wasn’t. What happened?


The fact was, I’d done loads but I hadn’t done anything to change ‘me’ on the inside. I slowly came to realise it was ‘me’ on the inside that I’d been trying to change through all my activities and efforts and that years of commitment and investment hadn’t made a blind bit of difference to me where it counted.

In spite of it all and all the great advice I’d followed, I felt no more valuable, worthy, secure, loved, optimistic or ‘light’ inside than I had before I’d started. 


I decided to turn my attention to ‘me’ INSIDE instead of ‘me in the mirror’. Self-reflection brought up all kinds of thoughts, feelings and emotions I’d buried; it wasn’t an enjoyable exercise but it was cathartic and weirdly, as it turned out, one that stopped me killing myself.

Guilt, grief, regret, pain, disappointment, humiliation, anger and frustration came up to the surface for examination. Instead of running away I faced what I’d feared to face and started to feel better. It was a revelation.

Crying inside with a smile on your face. Struggling with demons on both shoulders. Internal conflict that nags. Conditions that make life a misery. Failing to find love because your hurt is so big and your walls are so high. Feeling depressed because events in the past make the future seem pointless. Staying in bed all day because it’s the safest place to be. Taking naps in the afternoon because your mind doesn’t have the energy to keep you awake. Pain that comes and goes that pain killers don’t touch. This was ‘me’ aged 35 and it was a me I could no longer live with; faced with the prospect of facing fear or suicide, facing ‘fear’ was the easier option and so I did.


I came to realise that when we bury our thoughts, feelings and emotions we bury everything else too, for example, natural talent and aptitude. We create our own difficulties and unwellness sets in; our relationship with fear changes and things that never bothered us before, start bothering us a great deal, for example:

A car back-fires – an anxiety attack is set off.

A baby cries – panic bubbles up.

The toothpaste top is left off – anger erupts.

Out of sheer desperation I started to see the ‘big’ picture and put the puzzle together. To understand that the way we are inside, drives our decisions and behaviour, creating our life experience, ‘outside’.

I learned through my own experience that the more of yourself you suppress, the more unwellness you experience and the more ‘sensitised’ you become to the outside world and everyone in it. 

I realised that following doctor’s orders was a behaviour pattern. That if I did so, I’d doing exactly the same thing I’d done before i.e. believing that medical, mainstream people know what’s best for me and what works. 

It had turned out to be an exercise in futility the first time, why should it be any different now? More importantly, I was 35. How much more time could I afford to lose listening to people who knew no more than I did? It was me who was going to live with the consequences of being badly-advised and I couldn’t afford to waste another twenty years finding that out. 


Millions of people manage to avoid the major consequences of ‘burying themselves alive’. Millions don’t.

Millions lack emotional sensitivity and don’t notice the way they feel inside. Millions do.

If you don’t count yourself lucky by birth. If you do and have accepted your way of thinking, feeling and being as “a normal part of life and being human”, it’s time to think again. To put yourself in your diary, to book quality time and make an investment in your own peace of mind. Do that and as the sunrises inside, you’ll start to see magic happen.


Helen Wingstedt

Freeing You From Fear


To learn more about my coastal Coaching Courses and Retreats please visit the website information, subscribe or get in touch.

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